On This Day

Year 1937 in Music History

Events in Music


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 3 Del Mar Turf Club, with crooner Bing Crosby as president and actor Pat O'Brien as a club officer, opens for racing

Singer and Actor Bing Crosby
Singer and Actor
Bing Crosby

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 10 Dutch Django Reinhardt's "Quintette, premieres in du Hot Club"

Jazz Guitarist Django Reinhardt
Jazz Guitarist
Django Reinhardt
  • Nov 13 NBC forms first full-sized symphony orchestra exclusively for radio

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Nov 21 Dmitri Shostakovich's 5th Symphony premieres in Lenningrad, with the ovation lasting over an hour

  • Nov 27 Pro-labor musical revue "Pins & Needles" opens, produced by ILGWU
  • Dec 25 Arturo Toscanini conducts 1st Symphony of the Air over NBC Radio

Birthdays in Music


Person of interestGrace Bumbry

Jan 4 Grace Bumbry, mezzo-soprano (Venus in Tannhäuser), born in St. Louis, Missouri

Opera Singer Grace Bumbry
Opera Singer
Grace Bumbry
  • Jan 6 Doris Troy [Doris Elaine Higginsen], US R&B singer and songwriter (Just One Look), born in the Bronx, New York (d. 2004)
  • Jan 6 Paolo Conte, Italian singer, born in Asti, Italy
  • Jan 8 Robert Moran, American composer, born in Denver, Colorado
  • Jan 8 Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer (Goldfinger, Moonraker), born in Tiger Bay, United Kingdom
  • Jan 12 Vicente Sardinero, Spanish baritone, born in Barcelona, Spain (d. 2002)
  • Jan 14 Billie Jo Spears, American country singer, born in Beaumont, Texas (d. 2011)
  • Jan 16 Bob Bogle, American surf rock bassist and guitarist (Ventures - "Walk, Don't Run"), born in Wagoner, Oklahoma (d. 2009)
  • Jan 16 Conny Vandenbos [Jacoba Hollestelle], Dutch singer ("My Rose, My Little Rose"), born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 2002)
  • Jan 21 George Flynn, American pianist, composer (Trinity), and teacher (Columbia; DePaul), born in Miles City, Montana
  • Jan 21 (Fird) "Snooks" Eaglin, American blues and R&B guitarist and singer, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2009)
  • Jan 27 John Ogdon, British pianist and composer, born in Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, England (d. 1989)
  • Jan 29 Bobby Scott, American composer, arranger and jazz singer ("He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"), born in Mt Pleasant, New York (d. 1990)
  • Jan 31 Philip Glass, American minimalist composer (Einstein On The Beach; Koyaanisqatsi), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Feb 1 Don Everly, American singer and half of the rock and roll duo "The Everly Brothers" (Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie), born in Brownie, Kentucky
  • Feb 1 Ray Sawyer, American singer (Dr Hook), born in Chickasaw, Alabama (d. 2018)
  • Feb 2 Martina Arroyo, American opera soprano (NY Metropolitan Opera, 1965-78), born in New York City
  • Feb 2 Tommy Smothers, American comedian and folk singer (The Smothers Brothers Show; Serial), born in NYC, New York
  • Feb 4 Bill Ham, American music impresario and manager (ZZ Top), born in Waxahachie, Texas (d. 2016)
  • Feb 5 Cocky van Oost [Kommertje van Vliet], Dutch dancer (Sylphides)
  • Feb 8 Joe Raposa, American composer and songwriter (Sesame Street), born in Fall River Massachusetts (d. 1989)
  • Feb 9 Johnny Sayles, American soul singer ("I Can't Get Enough Of Your Love"), born in Winnsboro, Texas (d. 1993)
  • Feb 11 Lodewijk Boer, Dutch violinist/playwright (The Family)
  • Feb 11 Phillip Walker, American electric blues guitarist, and singer ("Hello My Darling"), born in Welsh, Louisiana (d. 2010)
  • Feb 14 "Magic" Sam [Maghett], American blues guitarist ("Feelin' Good (We're Gonna Boogie)"), born in Granada County, Mississippi (d. 1969)
  • Feb 15 Zoltán Peskó, Hungarian opera conductor and composer, born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 2020)
  • Feb 17 Mickey McGill, American vocalist (Dells - "Love is Blue"), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Feb 18 Alan Johnson, American screen and stage choreographer (The Producers - "Springtime for Hitler"; Legs Diamond; 3 Emmy Awards), director (To Be Or Not To Be), and dancer (West Side Story), born in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)
  • Feb 20 David Ackles, American singer-songwriter (American Gothic), born in Rock Island, Illinois (d. 1999)
  • Feb 20 Nancy Wilson, American jazz vocalist (Feel Like Making Love), born in Chillicothe, Ohio (d. 2018)
  • Feb 22 Dubravko Detoni, Croatian composer, born in Križevci, Croatia
  • Feb 25 Don Randi [Schwartz], American session and touring pop, rock, and jazz keyboard player (Nancy Sinatra), born in New York City
  • Feb 26 Hagood Hardy, Canadian musician and composer (d. 1997)
  • Mar 4 [Bernard Barney Jean] Wilen, musician
  • Mar 6 Doug Dillard, American country rock musician (The Dillards; Gene Clark; Dillard & Clark) and actor (Popeye - "Clem"), born in East St. Louis, Illinois (d. 2012)
  • Mar 6 Paul Mefano, French composer, born in Basra, Iraq
  • Mar 6 Ben Keith [Schaeufele], American musician and record producer (Neil Young, Great Speckled Bird), born in Fort Riley, Kansas (d. 2010)
  • Mar 8 Raynoma Singleton [Gordy], music producer and singer-songwriter (Motown), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2016)
  • Mar 8 Richard Farina, American writer and folk rocker (Reflections in a Crystal Wind)
  • Mar 10 Alfred Janson, Norwegian jazz and classical pianist and composer (Passacaglia Vendetta; Variations over Variations on a Norwegian Folk Tune), born in Oslo, Norway (d. 2019)
  • Mar 12 Elizabeth Vaughan, Welsh opera soprano (Victor/Victoria), born in Llanfyllin, Wales
  • Mar 13 Terence "Terry" Cox, British drummer (Pentangle; Duffy's Nucleus; Humblebums; Charles Aznavour), born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England
  • Mar 16 Constança Capdeville, Porteguese pianist and composer, born in Barcelona, Spain (d. 1992)
  • Mar 16 David Del Tredici, American pianist, Neo-Romantic composer, and 1980 Pulitzer winner (In Memory of a Summer Day), born in Cloverdale, California
  • Mar 17 Galina Samsova, Russian ballerina, born in Stalingrad, Soviet Union
  • Mar 19 Clarence "Frogman" Henry, American pianist and singer (Ain't Got No Home), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Mar 20 Jerry Reed, American country music singer (When You're Hot, You're Hot) and actor (Bat 21, Smokey & the Bandit), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2008)
  • Mar 20 Joe Rivers, rocker (Johnnie & Joe)
  • Mar 22 Jon Hassell, American composer and trumpet player (Dream Theory In Malaya), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Mar 22 Angelo Badalamenti, American film composer (Twin Peaks; The Straight Story; Blue Velvet; Mulholland Drive), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Mar 23 Heinz Martin Lonquich, German composer
  • Mar 23 Robert Cage, American blues guitarist (From Lake Mary), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2012)
  • Mar 24 Benjamin Luxon, British operatic baritone (Owen Wingrave), born in Redruth, England
  • Mar 24 Billy Stewart, American R&B singer ("I Do Love You"; "Summertime"), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 1970)
  • Mar 27 Johnny Copeland, American blues guitarist and singer (Lion's Den), born in Haynesville, Louisiana (d. 1997)
  • Mar 31 Willem Duyn [Mouth], Dutch singer (Mouth & MacNeal)
  • Apr 3 Louis Satterfield [also known as Lui-Lui, Ealee, and Sat], American trombone player (The Pharaohs, Earth, Wind & Fire, Phenix Horns), born in Shaw, Mississippi (d. 2004)
  • Apr 3 David Maves, American composer and educator, born in Salem, Oregon 

Person of interestMerle Haggard

Apr 6 Merle Haggard, American country singer-songwriter ("Mama Tried"; "If We Make It Through December"; "Okie from Muskogee"), born in Oildale, California (d. 2016)

Country Music Singer and Songwriter Merle Haggard
Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Merle Haggard
  • Apr 7 Charlie Thomas, American pop singer (The Drifters, 1958-67 - "Sweets For My Sweet"; "Save The Last Dance For Me"), born in Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Apr 21 David Lucas, American rock and roll composer, music producer and singer, born in Buffalo, New York
  • Apr 22 (Bernard) "Jack" Nitzsche, American composer, arranger, music producer and songwriter ("Up Where We Belong"), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2000)
  • Apr 24 Joe Henderson, American jazz saxophonist, born in Lima, Ohio (d. 2001)
  • May 1 Bo Nilsson, Swedish composer (Doppelspiel), born in Skellefteå (d. 2018)
  • May 4 Ron Carter, American jazz bassist (Ron Carter Meets Bach), born in Ferndale, Michigan
  • May 4 Hans Ulrich Lehmann, Swiss composer, born in Biel, Switzerland
  • May 4 Dick Dale [Richard Anthony Mansour], American guitarist, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d.2019)
  • May 5 Delia Derbyshire, English musician and composer (Doctor Who theme, White Noise), born in Coventry, England (d. 2001)
  • May 9 Dave Prater, American singer and musician (Sam & Dave), born in Ocilla, Georgia (d. 1988)
  • May 9 Sonny Curtis, American guitarist and singer-songwriter (the Crickets, I fought the Law), born in Meadow, Texas
  • May 10 Mike Melvoin, American jazz and studio pianist, composer, and arranger, born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (d. 2012)
  • May 13 Judith Somogi, American conductor (Frankfurt Opera-1982), born in NYC, New York
  • May 13 Teddy Randazzo, American pop singer-songwriter (I'm on the Outside Looking In), born in NYC, New York (d. 2003)
  • May 14 Peter Williams, British organist and musicologist, born in Wolverhampton, England (d. 2016)
  • May 15 Trini Lopez [Trinidad Lopez], American singer and guitarist (If I Had a Hammer), born in Dallas, Texas (d. 2020)
  • May 26 Yehuda Yannay, Romanian composer, born in Timișoara, Romania
  • May 29 Irmin Schmidt, German keyboardist and rocker (Can), born in Berlin
  • May 29 Peter Kolman, Austrian composer, born in Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Jun 2 Jimmy Jones, American singer-songwriter (Handy Man), born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 2012)
  • Jun 4 Freddy Fender, American musician ("Before the Next Teardrop Falls"), born in San Benito, Texas (d. 2006)
  • Jun 5 Floyd Butler, American soul singer (Friends of Distinction), born in San Diego, California (d. 1990)
  • Jun 7 Neeme Järvi, Estonian-American conductor (Gothenburg Symphony 1982-2004, Detroit Symphony 1990-2005), born in Tallinn, Estonia
  • Jun 15 Ray Coleman, British music journalist and biographer, born in Leicester (d. 1996)
  • Jun 15 Rolf Riehm, German composer, born in Saarbrücken
  • Jun 15 Waylon Jennings, American country singer and guitarist (Ramblin' Man), born in Littlefield, Texas (d. 2002)
  • Jun 20 Jerry Keller, rocker/actor (If Ever I See You Again)
  • Jun 21 Raphaël Sommer, Czech cellist, and educator, born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 2001)
  • Jun 22 Christopher Percy Gordon Blackwell, English businessman and record producer (Island Records), born in Westminster, London, England
  • Jun 23 Niki Sullivan, American guitarist (The Crickets), born in South Gate, California (d. 2004)
  • Jul 2 Dee [David] Palmer, English keyboard player and composer (Jethro Tull, 1972-80), born in Hendon, London
  • Jul 6 Gene Chandler [Eugene Dixon], American rocker (Duke of Earl), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Jul 6 Vladimir Ashkenazy, Russian pianist and conductor (Tchaikovsky-1962), born in Gorky, Russia
  • Jul 10 Sandy Stewart [Galitz], American jazz and cabaret singer ("My Coloring Book"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Jul 12 Michel Louvain, French Canadian singer (Buenas Noches Mi Amor), born in Quebec, Canada
  • Jul 12 Howard "Howie" Casey, British rock saxophonist (Derry and the Seniors), born in Liverpool, England
  • Jul 19 George Hamilton IV, American country musician, born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (d. 2014)
  • Jul 24 Barry Lloyd Vercoe, New Zealand composer and computer scientist (MIT Media Lab), born in Wellington, New Zealand
  • Jul 27 Chuck Jackson, American singer (Any Day Now, I Don't Want to Cry), born in Latta, South Carolina
  • Jul 28 Peter Duchin, American pianist and bandleader (Peter Duchin Orchestra), born in NYC, New York
  • Aug 2 Garth Hudson, Canadian pop musician (The Band-Life is a Carnival), born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding of Interest

Jan 27 Musician Nat King Cole (17) weds dancer Nadine Robinson in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Musician Nat King Cole
Musician
Nat King Cole

LoveWedding of Interest

Jun 26 Actress Mary Pickford (45) weds actor and band leader Charles Rogers (32)

Actress Mary Pickford
Actress
Mary Pickford
  • Jul 11 Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas (22) marries dancer Caitlin McNamara (22) in Penzance, Cornwall

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 8 John Felix August Korling, composer, dies at 72
  • Feb 14 Erkki Melartin, Finnish composer (Juhlamarssi; Summer Symphony; Fantasia Apocaliptica), dies at 62
  • Mar 2 Gustav Wohlgemuth, German composer, dies at 73
  • Mar 11 Paul Scheinpflug, composer, dies at 61
  • Mar 12 Jenő Hubay [Huber], Hungarian violinist, composer, and educator (Budapest Conservatory, 1886-1934), dies at 78
  • Mar 12 Charles-Marie Widor, French organist (Saint-Sulpice, 1870-1933), composer (10 organ symphonies), and professor (American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, 1921-34), dies at 93
  • Mar 29 Karol Maciej Szymanowski, Polish pianist and composer (Symphony No. 3 - Song Of The Night), dies of tuberculosis at 54
  • Apr 8 Arthur William Foote, American organist and composer, dies at 84
  • Apr 8 William Henry Hadow, British educational reformer and musicologist (Oxford History of Music, Studies in Modern Music), dies at 77
  • Apr 8 Arthur Foote, American classical composer, and a member of the "Boston Six" (Suite for Strings in E), dies at 83
  • Apr 10 Algernon Ashton, British composer, dies at 77
  • Apr 15 Nikolai Artzibushev, Russian jurist & composer, dies at 79
  • May 2 Arthur Somervell, English composer, dies at 73
  • May 4 Noel Rosa, Brazilian songwriter, dies at 26
  • May 11 Viliam Figuš-Bystrý, Slovak composer, dies at 62
  • Jun 2 Louis Vierne, French organist (Notre-Dame, 1900-37), and composer (Messe solennelle), dies at the console at 66
  • Jul 10 Attilio Brugnoli, Italian pianist and composer, dies at 56

Person of interestGeorge Gershwin

Jul 11 George Gershwin [Jacob Gershvin], American composer (An American in Paris), dies at 38

Composer and Pianist George Gershwin
Composer and Pianist
George Gershwin
  • Jul 17 Henri-Constant-Gabriel Pierne, composer, dies at 73
  • Jul 28 Muslim Magomayev, Azerbaijani-Soviet composer, dies at 51
  • Aug 23 Albert Roussel, French composer (Rapsodie Flamende), dies at 68
  • Sep 4 Giovanni Salviucci, Italian composer, dies at 29
  • Sep 6 Henry Kimball Hadley, composer, dies at 65
  • Sep 23 Caro Roma [Carrie Northey], American composer and singer, dies at 68
  • Sep 26 Bessie Smith, American blues singer known as the "Empress of the Blues" (recorded over 200 songs), dies of injuries sustained in car crash at 43
  • Oct 9 August de Boeck, Flemish composer, dies at 72
  • Oct 22 Frank Damrosch, German-born American author and music teacher (founded New York Musical Institute of Musical Art, later Julliard), dies at 88
  • Nov 2 Maude Valérie White, French-born English composer, dies at 82
  • Nov 4 Rogelio del Villar, Spanish composer, dies at 61
  • Nov 23 Louis Victor Saar, Dutch-American composer, dies at 68
  • Dec 26 Ivor Gurney, English composer and poet, dies of tuberculosis at 47

Person of interestMaurice Ravel

Dec 28 Maurice Ravel, French composer, pianist and conductor (Daphnis et Chloé; Boléro), dies at 62

Composer and Pianist Maurice Ravel
Composer and Pianist
Maurice Ravel